Big Red Squash Places in US Squash Championships

Sports  /  by Ivy Zhang '19  /  February 09, 2018

Sara Salomon '18 / The Lawrence

This past weekend, the Girls and Boys Varsity Squash teams won fourth and seventh place at the HEAD 2018 U.S. Squash High School Team Championships in Division I and Division II, respectively. Both teams travelled to Philadelphia to compete in this national tournament, which hosted 78 girls teams across five divisions, and 16 teams competed in the Division I bracket. According to the U.S. Squash website, is “the world’s largest squash tournament with more than 1,300 players” participating.

Seeded fifth in Girls Division I, the girls team raised its rank to fourth. According to Coach Narelle Krizek, this year is the first time in eight years that the girls team has advanced to the semifinals.

The girls team played its first match against Choate Rosemary Hall, winning 5-2 and qualifying for the quarterfinal round. The team won its second match against Episcopal Academy (EA) 5-2, advancing to the semifinals and becoming one of the top four teams in the nation.

Playing first, Ivy Zhang ’19 (No. 7) and Brittany Sun ’19 (No. 2) started the match with 3-0 wins each. The rest of the top of the team ladder also performed well in this match, as the top four players all won their matches 3-0.

The Girls Varsity team lost its third match against No. 1 seed Greenwich Academy (GA) 0-7. Notable performances included those by Mia Mahfood ’20 (No. 8), who won one game off her opponent, and Abby Dichter (No. 1), who lost her match with a two-point margin to victory.

Lawrenceville lost its third-place playoff match against The Baldwin School 0-7 and finished the tournament in fourth place.

The Lawrenceville Varsity Boys team upset its No. 9-12 seed group in Boys Division II and ended the tournament in seventh. The tournament hosted 110 boys teams across seven divisions, and 16 teams competed in the Division II bracket.

The Lawrenceville Boys team upset Milton Academy in its first match of the tournament, winning 4-3. It lost its second match against St. Ann’s School 2-5, lost against Crystal Springs Upland School 3-4, and won against Bronxville High School 4-3 to secure seventh place.

Co-captain Raghav Pemmireddy ’19 highlighted co-captain Henry Howe’s ’18 (No. 4) performance. Pemmireddy explained that, in both of Lawrenceville’s matches against Bronxville High School and Milton Academy, the match score was 3-3, so the team depended on Howe to win. In the end, Howe won both of his matches in five games.

“Henry was down 2-1 and 2-0, but he never stopped fighting,” Pemmireddy reflected.

Pemmireddy noted that Nationals highlighted the growth of the boys team throughout the season. After seeing “tough losses of players over the season,” a “losing streak” this past month, and “[struggling] team spirit,” the team saw improvement at Nationals.

Looking forward, the next two weeks mark the end of the 2017-2018 Varsity Squash season. The Lawrenceville Boys and Girls Varsity teams will play in two more tournaments as they compete for MAPL and MASA titles.